The American Association of Retired Persons reports that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau received approximately 8,700 complaints from elderly people regarding debt collections. In roughly half of those cases, the elderly person did not actually owe the debt. However, it is possible that people would pay the amount because they are not aware that the debt isn’t theirs.
According to the National Council on Aging, one of the most common ways someone will try to take advantage of an elderly person is to call him or her following a funeral. The person will claim that the deceased had outstanding debt that must be settled right away, and a grieving friend or relative may be susceptible to footing the fake bill.
The AARP states that there are several tactics that scammers often use when targeting the elderly, including the following:
- Trying to collect on a debt that has expired
- Threatening to take veterans’ or Social Security benefits, which is often illegal
- Intimidating or even harassing the person with offensive language or repeated calls
If you or someone you know may be falling victim to a debt collection scam, it is imperative to get help immediately. For more information on this topic, please visit our page regarding financial issues and the elderly.